20 May 2020

JSMP lamenta no preokupa ho aktu dezorganizadu hosi deputadu sira no ejijé deputadu sira atu respeita lei nu’udár meu atu dignifika PN

JSMP lamenta no preokupa ho aktu dezorganizadu hosi deputadu sira no ejijé deputadu sira atu respeita lei nu’udár meu atu dignifika PN

JSMP preokupa ho aktu dezorganizadu ne’ebé akontese iha 18 to’o 19 Maiu 2020 iha salaun plenária Parlamentu Nasionál (PN) entre deputadu sira, bainhira Vise-prezidente Parlamentu Nasionál na’in rua, distinta deputada Maria Angelina Lopes Sarmento ho distintu deputadu Luis Roberto da Silva tenta atu okupa fatin Prezidente Parlamentu Nasionál ni’an iha Meja Prezidénsia Parlamentu nian.

Aktu ida ne’e, hamosu reasaun entre deputadu sira hosi parte Partidu-CNRT nian hodi la fó fatin ba Vise-prezidente na’in rua atu okupa kadeira Prezidente Parlamentu Nasionál nune’e hamosu distúrbiu no haksesuk malu ho liafuan no atitude ne’e la ho étika. Deputadu sira hasai liafuan ladi’ak no inklui reasaun hosi jestu fíziku ne’ebé hatudu ba malu” entre deputadu Partidu-CNRT ho deputadu Fretilin, PLP no KHUNTO.

Rhode Island National Guard sends humanitarian aid to the Bahamas and Timor-Leste

Rhode Island National guard sends ventilators to East Timor Leste in COVID-19 battle
May 19, 2020  GREENWICH, R.I. – The Rhode Island National Guard partnered with the University of Rhode Island to send critical medical equipment to the South-Pacific island nation of Timor-Leste and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The 40 continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines will be converted to ventilators. The machines and conversion kits are provided under the National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP).

The RING SPP has been working on an initiative to support its partner nations, The Bahamas and Timor-Leste, to combat the COVID-19 virus. The University of Rhode Island's assistance and donations made possible the delivery of the equipment. Full story here.

East Timor MPs in revolt as government stuck in limbo

The East Timorese government is facing an unprecedented constitutional challenge, after 19 MPs submitted a petition to the country’s Court of Appeal requesting President Francisco Guterres be investigated for allegedly violating the charter.

The MPs, 18 from previous coalition partner CNRT party and one from UDT/FM, are furious Lu Olo as the President is also known, hasn’t allowed nine of their colleagues to take up their nominated positions in cabinet, two years after the 2018 parliamentary elections.

Full story at SMH

COVID-19 East Timor Update

East Timor on Friday, for the first time since 21 April, has no active COVID-19 cases, after the last five infected patients have recovered, the authorities reported.

“All the last five cases have recovered. We don’t have active cases and there is no one in isolation,” Sérgio Lobo, spokesman for the Integrated Crisis Management Center (CIGC) created by the government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, told reporters.

Timor-Leste registered its first case of the disease on 21 March 21, reaching a maximum of 24 cases on 24 April.

All cases in the country had mild symptoms.

From Macau Business

East Timor: fight over speaker's job descends into brawl over his chair

Dili City of Peace as Parliament descends into chaos.
Dili - City of Peace
"It is not the first time the political class in Dili has resorted to scuffles, but "this one is different in a sense that it's become so disruptive and so rowdy...."

East-Timor's Prime Minister has asked the Timorese people to "maintain calm" and allow the country's leaders to restore order, after Parliament devolved into pushing and shoving for a second consecutive day.

Jose Maria Vasconcellos, also known as Taur Matan Ruak, issued a statement saying people should go about their normal lives and let the leaders solve their problems.

In raucous scenes on Tuesday, the house's presiding table was literally overturned and MPs began banging on furniture to stop the day's session from going ahead. The presiding table is used by the National Parliament's president - equivalent to Australia's speaker of the house - and two vice-presidents, and represents the highest echelons of the government apart from the President and Prime Minister.

Read the full story at Sydney Morning Herald.

JSMP is concerned about the functioning of the National Parliament in early May 2020

Image of the East Timor Leste National Parliament Chambers in Dili.
JSMP Press Release 19 May 2020 - JSMP has observed that in early May 2020 the National Parliament has not functioned normally in relation to conducting plenary meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays and meetings of the Specialised Standing Committees in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the National Parliament.

“JSMP believes that suspending plenary meetings of the National Parliament will have a negative effect on the productivity of the National Parliament and will have a direct effect on finalising those draft laws that are pending before the National Parliament, and the State has spent a lot of funds on advisors and technicians regarding the preparation of these draft laws.

JSMP requests for the parties to respect the decision of the Court of Appeal in relation to the petition submitted by the CNRT Party

Image of the East Timor Court of Appeal in Dili, East-Timor-Leste
JSMP Press Release 12 May 2020  - On 5 May 2020 18 members from the CNRT Bench (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) through their lawyers officially submitted a petition to the Court of Appeal which is also functioning as the Supreme Court of Justice. 

The aim of this process was to request a review of actions carried out by the President of the Republic which they consider to have violated constitutional obligations relating to the issue of the dismissal of the Prime Minister, the appointment of members of Government and the State Budget not being passed in the National Parliament for more than 60 days whereby the President of the Republic did not dissolve the National Parliament. These issues form the basis for the petition of the CNRT Party.

"JSMP really appreciates the actions of the CNRT members of parliament to use the courts as the appropriate channel in accordance with the law to end this political impasse. However, JSMP requests for the parties to comply with the decision of the Court of Appeal and to follow the appropriate mechanism provided in Article 79 2) & 3) of the Timor-Leste Constitution," said Ms. Ana Paula Marçal, the Executive Director of JSMP.

“It is the incumbent upon the National Parliament to initiate the criminal proceedings, following a proposal made by one-fifth, and deliberation approved by a two-third majority, of its Members (Article 79.3) if the President of the Republic commits a clear and serious violation of his or her constitutional obligations, as provided for in Article 79.2.

JSMP encourages the courts to continue fulfilling their constitutional, impartial and accountable responsibilities to ensure the credibility of this institution and to gain public confidence as a sovereign organ that has the competence to administer justice on behalf of the people, and everyone has to comply with the decisions of the courts.

The actions taken by the CNRT Bench provide a good example that other parties can follow in the future when similar problems occur, as it is important to use appropriate and correct mechanisms. Apart from the processes relating to the competence of sovereign organs to submit a petition, JSMP also encourages the public to use petitions as provided for in Article 48 of the Timor-Leste Constitution on the right to submit a petition to organs of sovereignty or any authority when a problem occurs in relation to the violation of rights, the Constitution , the law or general interests. END